Devi Sridhar, a global health professor at the University of Edinburgh, told BBC News the lack of protection of the health workforce and giving up on containing the virus were the two most serious misjudgments made by world leaders during the pandemic. Professor Sridhar also stated there were still many components of COVID-19 not fully understood by scientists and healthcare workers.
BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin asked: “What do you think was the most serious thing that was missed?”
The global health expert replied: “I think there were two things.
“The first is on containment, there is a lot we don’t know about this virus.
“We don’t know if you can be re-infected with it, we don’t know how long immunity lasts, we don’t know if there are long term health complications.
“We don’t know why it attacks so many organs in the body, not just the lungs.
“So I think keeping numbers low in the short term should have been at the front of everybody’s minds instead of trying to find a more clever way out like letting it go through the population.
“The second one regarding health workers and the health workforce was that they were not offered testing or adequate PPE for the virus.
“So I think the protection of the health workforce and giving up on containment.”
Last week Professor Sridhar condemned Western countries for showing a lack of humility and willingness to listen during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The global health expert said: “I think what is really clear is that there was a lack of listening and a lack of humility from Western countries of what was happening in East Asia.
“We have been lucky in the United States, United Kingdom, other European countries to have the benefit of time.
“It was almost like having a time machine.
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“What was happening in East Asia was where we would be in a few weeks.
“Instead of using that time to say how are they actually managing it and what is working there was kind of a wait and see approach.
“I think it was widespread complacency that this just can’t happen here.
“We are going to see now the next phase of this outbreak in low-income countries
“So basically, this outbreak is playing out in different parts of the world that gives other countries time to listen, learn and prepare.”
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